From David Murray:
If you had the choice between private Bible reading and prayer, or going to church, which would you choose?
The Puritans would choose church.
Surprising isn’t it. We all know the Puritans’ welcome emphasis on private devotion and personal godliness. But they actually rated public worship even higher. For example, David Clarkson, colleague and successor to John Owen, preached a sermon on Psalm 87v2 entitled Public worship to be preferred before private, and gave 12 reasons why:
1. The Lord is more glorified by public worship than private.
God is glorified by us when we acknowledge that He is glorious, and He is most glorified when this acknowledgement is most public.
2. There is more of the Lord’s presence in public worship than in private.
He is present with his people in the use of public worship in a special way: more effectually, constantly, and intimately.
The necessity and primacy of corporate worship (even over private worship) has been rolling around in my mind for awhile, and so I wanted to post this to begin a new conversation in the next few weeks. I really encourage you to read this article today, and I will have more to come on the subject soon.
HT: Aquila Report.